2019 Reading Challenges

If you’ve been following me for even a short time, you probably know I’m a sucker for a reading challenge. Some of the ones in which I participate are seasonal or only run for a short time. However, I usually sign up for a couple of year-long challenges, just to keep things interesting.

2018 Challenges Wrap-ups

First up, my personal goal for 2018 was to read 125 books. Honestly, I had a hard time trying to decide what seemed reasonable. 2016 & 2017 were both record years and I found it difficult to judge if they marked a permanent change in my reading or whether they are outliers. It seems it’s more of a permanent change, because I ended up hitting 155 books by the end of 2018.

For the annual Goodreads challenge, I was again aiming for 125 and hit 147.

You might think that with all that reading, I’d have managed to meet my goal of shrinking my Mt TBR down to 330 books. Not so. I finished the year at 442, so this goal was a definite failure. In the end, I discovered that I just didn’t care enough about this goal to make it happen. Reviewing makes it a bit of a challenge, and I just have too much fun with book clubs and awards reading. If I have a giant pile of books to read, so be it!

I’d signed up for the Beat the Backlist challenge, aiming to read 52 books published before 2018. I technically managed this, reaching 81 books published before 2018, but it wasn’t in any conscious way and still left the oldest books on Mt TBR untouched.

2019 Challenges

I’ve decided to increase my personal reading goal to 140 books this year. I was thinking about making it 150 books, but I have some rather hefty tomes I want to try and get to. Similarly, my Goodreads goal is 130, allowing space for books not listed on Goodreads.

Having determined that shrinking Mt TBR is just not a priority for me, I have decided to take a bit of a different angle to approaching the pile. This year, I want to tackle the 10 oldest books on the stack. These include:

Vanity Fair by William Thackery
Cloud of Sparrows by Takashi Matsukoa
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
The Magical Toyshop by Angela Carter
Jigs and Reels by Joanne Harris
Creative Wisdom for Writers by Roland Fishman
Palace by Katherine Kerr and Mark Kreighbaum
Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl
Creative Mythology by Joseph Campbell

Added to these will be The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu and Black Wolves by Kate Elliot. Both authors are Guests of Honour at Continuum this year and I’d like to have read something of their work before seeing them.

What about you? What reading goals and challenges are you participating in this year?

2 thoughts on “2019 Reading Challenges”

  1. I do the Goodreads general challenge — in 2018 I aimed to read 57 books, and read over a hundred. Still being conservative in my goal, because who knows what might happen that could slow my reading, so this year’s aim is 63.

    I’ve done the AWW challenge on GR a couple of times. Haven’t entered it on GR in recent years, but I always read a lot of fiction by women, and by Australians, and thus lots by Australian Women Writers anyway.

    I’ve recently joined some GR groups that have challenges and group reads that I might do — mystery/crime fic from different countries, and diversity in YA (which I love anyway).

    1. Staying conservative with goal setting is a good idea. As you pointed out, you never know what’s going to happen in a year. Plus, I find there are trends to my reading across the years. After starting to review, I found the number of books I read increased. For the first year or two, I wasn’t sure whether I was having an anomalous year or whether it was going to turn out to be a trend. A conservative goal gave me breathing space to find out. I hope your reading is off to a good start!

      Reading groups are awesome for challenging yourself, aren’t they? It sounds like you’ve found some excellent ones there!

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